What is the relationship between certain major structural aspects of state governments and the content of policies adopted in the states? Do the socio-economic environments of the states relate significantly to political structures or the type of policies enacted?
The thesis advanced here is that differences in policy, at least in certain substantive areas, are more readily explained in terms of differences in the socio-economic environments of the states than by an examination of structural variables. It will also be maintained that, as policy is independent of structure, so structure is also largely independent of some major aspects of the environment. The specific structural variables to be examined are apportionment, party competitiveness, and divided party control between governors and their legislatures.
Six specific propositions will be examined:
Proposition 1. The more imbalance in a state's apportionment, the less likely the legislature is to pass “liberal” or welfare-oriented policies beneficial to urban groups.
Proposition 2. The more imbalance in a state's apportionment, the less financial aid large cities will receive directly from the state.
Proposition 3. The more imbalance in a state's apportionment, the less competitive will be its major parties.
3a. the less competitive a state's two major parties, the less welfare-oriented will be the policies adopted by its legislature.
Proposition 4. The more imbalance in a state's apportionment, the more likely it is that control of the executive and legislative branches will be divided between parties.
4a. The more frequently control of the legislature and executive are divided, the less likely a state will be to adopt welfare-oriented policies.
Proposition 5. The more industrialized a state, the more imbalance there will be in its apportionment system.
Proposition 6. The more industrialized a state, the higher will be its welfare-orientation.